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Phoenix veterans gain sense of belonging at temporary home

PHOENIX — A group of volunteers worked through the heat Wednesday morning to help some veterans in Phoenix.

The group of 40 men and women gathered outside the U.S. Vets facility near Seventh Street and Broadway Road to repair a temporary housing building for veterans.

The nonprofit US Vets houses about 70 people who are working to get back into permanent housing.

Kate Warren, program manager with Rebuilding Together, helped organize the volunteers.

“They’ll be painting this building, it all needs to be painted,” she said. “They’ll be doing the landscaping, there are some big plants that need to be moved … we will be working on the inside (by) painting a wall and putting up some really big military insignia to really let people know it’s a program that serves veterans and it’s a place people can take pride in.”

Volunteers also made benches to place around the property as well as installed a window air conditioning unit inside the building’s kitchen.

“(We’re) putting in some window air-conditioning units, as you know that’s important in Arizona,” she said.

Warren said veterans living at the facility receive great care and support but it has been difficult for the organization to keep up with the property maintenance.

That’s where the volunteers come in, Warren said.

“To get those things that they’d like to get done, done, but they’d never be able to put it up on the top of their budget,” she said.

Warren said the goal is to help the veterans feel more at home, even if it’s just for the short time they live there.

“It’s important for everyone to have a nice place to live,” she said. “To know that where you’re living is not just transitional housing or a program place, but you’re actually at a place where people care.”